The Choices of “Best Fit”: Cross-cultural Resilience and University Selections


As the pandemic leaves people in a less globalized world, parents became more hesitant about sending their kids oversea for education. Under such context, on May 26th, invited as a speaker for a series of public lectures led by the United Front Work Department of SJTU, Dr. ZHANG Xiaoqiao, Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean of School of Education (SOE), who has living abroad for 16 years, shared her experience and gave advice on choosing US schools and how to cope with stress in a different cultural environment. The lecture has attracted around 260 people.

From an exchange student since high school in the U.S. to working as a young faculty at SJTU, ZHANG first analyzed how to choose a suitable US school for students based on late data published by the Open Door Report by the Institution of International Education (IIE) along with her own experience. She pointed out that instead of opting for schools with the most impressive graduates and the “hottest majors,” families, particularly the students should first consider what the student truly passionate about and the school culture they enjoy. Along with the schools’ curricula and philosophy, ZHANG said families should also know more about the universities’ mission, values, culture and various on-campus activities such as sports, clubs, and academic environments. Then, ZHANG shared her own stories as an example and offer advice with culturally and contextually specific aspects on how to better deal with stress in young people’s lives, which if successfully conquered, contributing to their resilience. Lastly, ZHANG encouraged everyone to overcome difficulties and embrace the beauty of life and truly enjoy the journey of studying abroad.

Written and Edited by CHEN Ruoxi

Proofread by ZHANG Xiaoqiao